M-Braves Clinch Second-Straight Series After a 9-2 Win over Barons on Wednesday
BIRMINGHAM, AL -- The Mississippi Braves clinched their second-straight series on Wednesday in a 9-2 victory over the Birmingham Barons at Regions Field. The M-Braves (10-10, 39-51) have won six of eight and have reached the .500 mark in the second half.
After a scoreless first inning, the M-Braves took a lead that they wouldn't give up in the top of the second inning. Alay Lago drew a one-out walk from Birmingham (10-10, 42-46) starter Tanner Banks (L, 0-1) and then Travis Demeritte singled. Banks struck out Daniel Lockhart for the second out. Alejandro Salazar pushed a single through the middle and Lago scored to make it 1-0.
Tyler Marlette homered for the second-straight day on Wednesday and his opposite-field two-run shot in the third inning pushed the lead to 3-0. Marlette is now tied for the team-lead with nine home runs.
Birmingham got right back into the game in the bottom of the third inning when Luis Basabe blasted a two-run shot into the Barons bullpen to trim the lead to 3-2.
M-Braves starter Enderson Franco (W, 3-6) held the Barons off the scoreboard for the remainder of his outing, dodging bullets in the fourth and fifth. The Barons put runners at third base in two-straight innings with less than two outs but failed to get runners in, going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Franco went 5.2 innings, one out shy of a quality start, in his 12th start of the season, yielding two runs on six hits, with one walk and seven strikeouts. He threw a season-most 102 pitches and 70 strikes.
Kelvin Vasquez (H, 5) pitched his second scoreless outing in the series in the sixth and seventh going 1.1 innings to keep the score at 3-2.
The Braves broke the game open in the eighth inning against Birmingham's bullpen. Six-straight M-Braves reached with one out and the first of six runs scored on an RBI double by Demeritte that plated Alex Jackson. Lockhart layed down a perfect bunt to score Alay Lago and it was 5-2 M-Braves. Reliever Brian Clark was lifted for Matt Foster after walking three batters, but Foster walked Ray-Patrick Didder with the bases loaded to extend the lead to 6-2. With the bases loaded and two outs, Brandon Downes hit a bases-clearing triple off the right-field wall and the M-Braves busted the game open with a 9-2 advantage. The six-run inning is the sixth single inning this season in which six or more runs have come across.
Adam McCreery pitched scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth to secure the win for Mississippi. Demeritte finished the night 2-for-5 with a double and RBI, while Downes was 1-for-5 with the three-run triple, in the eighth. Lago reached base safely three times and was 1-for-3 with a pair of walks.
Birmingham starter Tanner Banks fanned 10 batters over 6.0 innings in his first Barons start. As a team, Barons' pitchers collected 17 strikeouts.
The M-Braves return to Trustmark Park for a five-game series against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. RHP Connor Johnstone will make the start for the M-Braves against RHP Vladimir Gutierrez for the Blue Wahoos. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 pm with coverage beginning at 6:50 pm on 103.9 WYAB and the free TuneIn Radio app.
Thursday is Ole Miss Night sponsored by Farm Bureau. Wear your Rebel attire to the game and receive a Field Level ticket at the Trustmark Park box office for only $6! It's also Thirsty Thursday with canned domestic beer and 16 oz. fountain drinks just $2 each.
For tickets and more information on the Braves, fans can visit mississippibraves.com or call 888-BRAVES4.
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